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Nishime, Ota win Upper House seats

Date Posted: 2001-08-03

The elections of the House of Councilors was held Sunday. The results were announced the same day. Junshiro Nishime representing the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan was elected from the Okinawan constituency.

Nishime collected 265,000 votes to secure his seat. Current lawmaker Kantoku Teruya lost his seat to Nishime by 20,000 votes. Sougi Kayo representing the Japan Communist Party was far behind with 46,000 votes.

Supported by LDP and Komei Party, the current coalition partners in the national government led by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Nishime succeeded with his candidacy for the first time in his career. In his campaign, Nishime pledged to make his outmost efforts to support both the national government and Governor Keiichi Inamine’s Okinawa Prefectural Government in order to further develop Okinawa and enable a smooth relocation of the MCAS Futenma.

The conservatives succeeded in acquiring the Okinawan Upper House seat after nine years of the leftist representative from Okinawa sitting in the House of Councilors. At the end, the leftist candidates did not have any new ideas to bring to the campaign and they lost. 58.36 percent of eligible voters cast ballot in the election.

Meanwhile the former governor of Okinawa, Masahide Ota was elected for the first time as an Upper House member from the proportional list of the election. Social Democratic Party officially supported him. After the election, Ota said that he highly appreciated his voters, and said that his victory showed that his ideas of bringing Okinawan issues to the national assembly for thorough discussion were supported by the majority of Okinawan people.

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